I’ve just spent the last couple of days solo parenting while also trying to work. Kate had to leave at short notice to visit a relative in hospital at the other end of the country, so I had plenty to juggle.
I’m not going to lie; it was really difficult! All three kids have reached ‘peak summer holidays antsy’ and I had a couple of deadlines. It was never going to be easy.
That said, I negotiated the 48-hour plate spinning act without any drama. Take that, stereotypes! While it wasn’t perfect – sibling squabbles are inevitable and I now have an overflowing inbox – I got a few parenting victories under my belt.
First things first, I got Dylan to eat more than one portion of fruit each day. Until recently, he would eat one banana and that was that. We had raided my parents’ garden earlier in the week so I was keen for him to try some of it.
He agreed to have a smoothie so I put some blackberries and apples in the juicer. He drank the lot and asked for more. Boom! To my surprise, he also accepted my offer of an apple the following day.
Secondly, Xander didn’t break anything. He snapped his umbilical cord when he was born and has rendered something beyond repair most days since.
He doesn’t set out to do so; he’s just over exuberant sometimes and also has a fascination with discovering how things work. Not this time though. So no criminal damage for once, although he did end up looking like the clown prince of crime after necking his smoothie.
The biggest parenting victory though was that Amelie got herself to sleep both nights. This is something we’ve really struggled with so was no mean feat. In truth, it was more by luck than judgement. Bedtime is usually an all-hands-on-deck routine with one of us dealing with her and one with the boys.
I put her in her cot and went to check that Dylan and Xander weren’t flooding the bathroom. In my haste, I forgot to close her blackout blind. I kept checking on her and them and, to my surprise, she was fast asleep in ten minutes.
I don’t know whether it was the lack of ceremony around putting her to bed or the fact that she was left in natural light rather than with a nightlight. Frankly, I don’t care which variable was responsible. I did the same the following night and it worked again so we won’t be changing a thing!
Inevitably, I didn’t get as much work done as I hoped I would but it was great spending more time with the kids and a bonus to claim some admittedly fortunate parenting victories along the way.
It just goes to show that we all get there eventually so if you’re having challenges with getting your kids to eat, sleep or stop trashing the house – or anything else for that matter – hang in there!
Have you had any parenting victories lately?